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Until last Saturday, my only recollection of Gloucester had been of an incident at least 30 years previous. I had arrived, with others, by narrowboat in the docks, and, for reasons I can no longer remember, was wandering around in the area on my own. I was approached by a copper, who asked me to account for my whereabouts for the last 30 minutes or so. I did so, and he seemed content at my explanation. When I asked why he wanted to know, he told me that someone of my description had been seen leaving a local shop with stolen goods. (I was wearing blue jeans and a navy blue sweater, even more of a uniform those days than now.)

Anyway, this Saturday I went nowhere near the historic docks, though would have done so had I had the time. I was in the city to join in an early music singing workshop in the Parliament Rooms of Gloucester Cathedral. (All I have been able to discover about these rooms is that one of them was used by Richard II for a Parliament in 1378.) I couldn’t really take photographs of the workshop itself, but was pleased to have time during the lunch break to wander around in the immediate vicinity.

The Parliament Rooms are a building to the left of the west front of the cathedral. We were upstairs. This is the scene that greeted me as I arrived.
The view from where I sat. I failed to make any note about the portrait, but recall that the word ‘headmaster’ appeared in the label.
Above and behind my head, to the right, a fresco I presume.
I learned later that the building on the left is the Deanery.
I took my sandwich lunch with these ladies, and then wandered round the cathedral anti-clockwise, taking pictures right and left.
Ahead of me as I ate was the west front.
The Parliament Rooms are further to the left of this building, which is described below.
To my right as I start my walk
To my left
I was told that until very recently this was a large car park, and that a great deal of money was spent converting it to this pleasant pedestrian area.
There were many of these blocks, giving snippets of the cathedral’s history, but I couldn’t read many as they were mainly being sat on or used as tables.
Once to the north-east of the cathedral, I found myself in Pitt Street. I did not take pictures of the scaffolding covering that corner of the ecclesiastical building.
This herb garden was created by volunteers in 1992, with advice from Benedictine monks from nearby Prinknash Abbey. There are areas for herbs used in cooking, decorating, dyeing, and fumigating.
The Deanery’s urns and wisteria seen close up
And, now behind me, this is where our music-making was taking place.
Having seen, and failed to take a photograph of, a plaque mentioning the composer Ivor Gurney, and having noticed, by the infirmary arches, the mention of the writer of the US national anthem, I was delighted to come across this reference to S S Wesley, the great hymn writer.
Through St Mary’s Arch can be seen a monument to Bishop John Hooper,
who was burnt at the stake for holding on to his beliefs in simplicity in worship in 1555. A board nearly said that because the fire was not strong enough it took 45 minutes for him to die. Bloody times, in the name of religion, in those days.
St Mary’s Church
I returned through the gate.
And I was back on College Green where I had had my lunch. It was time to resume the music.
Tea break, photo taken from the other side of the room to the entrance.

I must return to Gloucester to explore the docks once more, hoping to escape the beady eye of the law this time.